Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted through tick bites. The infection resulting from these bites causes swelling, joint pain, rash, and flu-like symptoms. The disease can affect the nervous system, as well, causing headaches, dizziness, and other symptoms.
LB data was obtained from the Sentinelles general practitioner surveillance network (2009–2012) and from the Programme de Médicalisation des Systèmes d’Information (PMSI) data processing centre for hospital discharges (2004–09). The yearly LB incidence rate averaged 42 per 100,000 inhabitants (95% confidence interval (CI): 37–48), ranging from 0 to 184 per 100,000 depending on the region. The annual hospitalisation rate due to LB averaged 1.55 per 100,000 inhabitants (95% CI: 1.42–1.70). Both rates peaked during the summer and fall and had a bimodal age distribution (5–10 years and 50–70 years).
Treat with an oral antibiotic for two weeks. Doxycycline 100 mg bd or amoxicillin 500 mg tds. Cefuroxime 500 mg bd if both are contra-indicated and there is no history of anaphylaxis with penicillins. If unable to distinguish between cellulitis and erythema migrans, use co-amoxiclav, cefuroxime or amoxicillin with flucloxacillin. For children aged over 12, use doxycycline 100 mg bd or amoxicillin 50 mg/kg/day in divided doses (maximum 500 mg per dose). For children aged under 12, use amoxicillin 50 mg/kg/day in divided doses (maximum 500 mg per dose) or cefuroxime 30 mg/kg/day in two divided doses (maximum 500 mg per dose and assuming there is no history of anaphylaxis with penicillins). For breast-feeding women, use amoxicillin or cefuroxime. For pregnant women, use amoxicillin or cefuroxime and inform an obstetrician. Lyme disease carries little direct risk to the pregnancy; however, there is a possible risk of uterine contraction following a reaction to treatment (Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction).
The objective of this study was to identify the tick species parasitizing Richardson's ground squirrels (Spermophilus richardsonii) in southern Saskatchewan (Canada). Morphological examination of the adult ticks revealed the presence of three tick species, Ixodes sculptus, Ixodes kingi and Dermacentor andersoni. PCR-based single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) and DNA sequence analyses of a portion of the mitochondrial (mt) 16S rRNA gene were used to determine their species identity. The results showed that each tick species had a unique set of SSCP profiles and DNA sequences using this mt marker. The species identity of larval and nymphal ticks was determined based on a comparison of these profiles and sequences with those of morphologically-identified adults.